BOISE – It’s never easy opening a show, but Joywave seemed at ease as it settled into an all-too-quick set warming up the crowd for headliners Cold War Kids at the Knitting Factory in Boise on Aug. 10.
Few of the couple hundred people who showed up early to see Joywave perform knew what to expect as the Buffalo pop band kicked off their 30-minute set with the title track off new album Content. But by the end of their second song; “It’s a Trip,” the floor in front of the stage was full of people and energy.
Paul Brenner’s drum kit set the tone for the show while Daniel Armbruster’s stage presence and humor helped bring the crowd to life and turn many into Joywave fans.
Cold War Kids were the hotly anticipated band on this night, and the 600-plus in attendance began chanting for the SoCal indie rock band well in advance of the band taking the stage.
The band opened with a strong rendition of “All This Could Be Yours,” from 2014 album Hold My Home.
Lead singer Nathan Willett and company mixed pulled songs from as far back as 2006, including fan favorites “Louder Than Ever,” “First” and “Hang Me Up to Dry.” They also played about half the songs from this year’s L.A. Divine.
The set was well received, although at times it did seem like they were rushing from song to song without trying to engage the crowd with banter or any spontaneity. The setlist closely resembled their other recent shows. Cold War Kids are now six albums in, and have enough material to include the hits while at the same time dive deeper into their repertoire, and add a little more energy to the show.
In a unique pairing, the concert included sensational singer-songwriter Julien Baker. Baker and her ringing guitar showed of her amazing voice and songwriting abilities. But, perhaps the Boise crowd was unfamiliar with her material or just because she stood out on a bill with two uptempo acts, the her mellow, ambient and emotion songs seemed to have lost the growing crowd.
Baker is not playing the Sacramento show next week. She will join Belle & Sebastian on tour from here on out.